YouTube TV has just announced that it will be dropping FOX Regional Sports Networks and the YES Network, starting on February 29.
The reason behind this is the fact that YouTube TV has been unable to reach an agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting, which owns the majority of these regional sports stations. YouTube TV says that if you are impacted by this change, it will be emailing you later today.
It’s part of the rising cost of streaming TV
The costs of streaming TV continue to go up, which is why YouTube TV now costs $50 per month, after starting at $35 a few years ago. It is also why we are seeing just about every competitor continue to raise rates too.
YouTube TV says that it “does not take this decision lightly. This is a reflection of the rising cost of sports content. You may have noticed several other TV services have also decided to remove FOX Regional Sports Networks from their lineups.”
Which is also true. However, many do subscribe to YouTube TV for the sports, and for a lot of those that don’t live in big markets, regional sports networks is how they are able to watch their favorite teams. Like the Milwaukee Bucks, or the Super Bowl Champion, Kansas City Chiefs. Those are smaller markets, and don’t often get shown on primetime TV.
YouTube TV users are pretty upset
It should come as no surprise that users of YouTube TV are pretty upset about this decision from the service. But, there’s not much that YouTube TV can do here. The ball is in Sinclair’s court.
While this does sound like a blackout we see with traditional TV providers and certain networks, it’s unlikely that YouTube TV will be bringing back FOX regional sports networks, anytime soon. It’s very unfortunate, but that’s how it is right now.
But, with FOX regional sports networks leaving YouTube TV, this could open up room for the NFL Network or NFL RedZone to come to the service. Something that football fans have been asking YouTube TV to add for many years now.
YouTube TV still has 70+ channels and it still costs $49.99 per month. While it is losing regional sports networks, it is still the only service that has unlimited cloud DVR storage, which is still a very big deal. So while many are saying they are going to cancel YouTube TV, it likely won’t happen, and they’ll realize that this is the best streaming TV service right now.